The Central Connecticut men's basketball team dropped to 3-7 overall on the season with a 72-67 road loss at Hofstra on Sunday afternoon. Junior Faronte Drakeford scored a career-high 23 points in the loss, shooting 10-of-17 from the field. Classmate Kyle Vinales added 21, including four threes and five assists.
The Blue Devils return to action at home on Saturday at 1 p.m. hosting Coastal Carolina. The meeting is the first of two for the two teams this season. They will play on the road at Coastal on January 3 in the final non-conference game of the season for CCSU.
Hofstra took an early lead and led 24-17 with 7:17 to play before halftime. The Blue Devils responded with a 9-3 run to end the half, holding the Pride without a field goal during the run, and cut the lead to one at halftime.
Neither team shot the ball well in the first half and the Pride held a 27-26 lead after a late bucket by the Blue Devils. Vinales had 11 points, including two threes, and Drakeford added seven. Hofstra shot just 9-of-27 from the field, and was 7-of-14 from the line, before the break. The Blue Devils were 11-of-27 from the field but took only four free-throws.
Central scored the first six points of the second half to build a quick 32-27 lead. The Pride went over eight minutes without a field goal as the Blue Devil run reached 15-3 before the Pride ended it with their first three of the half.
With the score 50-47, the Pride scored six straight points to re-take the lead, 53-50, with 7:57 to play in the half. The teams traded buckets and it was tied 61-61 with 3:41 to play in the half. The Pride would build the lead back to as much as five in the final minutes, despite their struggles from the free-throw line.
Hofstra hit just 22-of-46 free-throws in the victory. Central was 13-of-18. The Blue Devils committed 31 personal fouls in the loss, and four players (Vinales, Drakeford, Matt Hunter and Terrell) fouled out.
As a team Central shot well from the field, hitting 25-of-53, including 14-of-26 in the second half. They were 4-of-12 from three. Hofstra held a 39-31 edge in rebounds, including 17 offensive that led to 27 second chance points. The Blue Devils had only six, despite scoring 32 points in the paint.
Drakeford led the offense with a career-high 23. Vinales added 21 and Hunter had eight to go along with six rebounds and three assists. Junior Juwan Newmen had seven boards and three blocks in the loss.
The Blue Devils return to action on Saturday at 1 p.m. hosting Coastal Carolina. Fans can watch the game live and for free at www.NECFrontRow.com and listen on Fox Sports Radio 1410, ESPN Radio 1300 and online at www.iHeartRadio.com.